Dracoonfly Ginger Cattis, a red classic tabby & white with her 3 red boys
A young lady called the house last night, inquiring if this was the Dracoonfly Maine Coon place. I replied it was. She then asked where I was located so I told her the name of the town, spelling it out slowly at least 3 times. Her next question: What hours are you open? This was by no means the least clued-in person who has called about kittens, but it was the first where someone assumed I had store hours and could drop in and window shop for a kitten. I tried to be patient; this is my home, not a store. My kittens are almost always reserved in advance. They are born in my bedroom. Potential buyers must complete an application and be approved before I'll even put them on the waiting list. I tried, but I knew my explanations were useless. We ended the conversation 3 minutes later than I would've liked. Sometimes it just isn't worth the effort to explain.
Another misconception is that because the Maine Coon is a large, imposing-looking cat (or just because it's a cat), it is supposed to go outside. I actually had a man tell me years ago that he thought a Maine Coon would be the right breed for him because it was "big enough to handle the coyotes". To put it in monetary terms, why would a "cat lover" spend $800 plus on a kitten and then risk its life by allowing it to roam outside? Hey, I grew up in the time when cats lived outside and nobody got their cat "fixed". Unfortunately, most of our cats didn't make it past the age of four and many didn't even reach adulthood. Cats were disposable pets back then. I hope the time will come when all cat owners value their kitties enough to keep them safely indoors.
Other cat misconceptions:
- Male cats are more affectionate than females
- All torbie or tortie females have "torbietude" (this is like saying all red-heads have quick tempers or all blonds are dumb)
- Red tabby males are sweet and stupid (another colorist statement)
- All red tabbies are male (FACT: approximately 1/3 of the reds are female so males are the majority in this color)
- Only male cats spray
- Female cats don't like to play or are aloof
- All long-haired tabbies must be at least part Maine Coon
- All cats over 20 pounds must be part Maine Coon
- Hens need a rooster in order to lay eggs (just seeing if you're paying attention)
- True Maine Coons have an "M" on their foreheads (Animal Planet gets partial credit for starting this one)
- Cats, like dogs, can be labeled as a breed (FACT: only 4% of all cats are pedigreed, the rest are just cats)
- Maine Coons should weigh over 30 pounds (FACT: if it does, it is overweight)
- The Maine Coon developed from a raccoon breeding a domestic cat
- Dry cat food is better for their teeth
- Only Maine Coon cats get hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- The fur of a Maine Coon is hypo-allergenic
- Pregnant women need to get rid of their cats in case they get toxoplasmosis
- You can make a lot of money breeding cats
Those are some of the myths and misconceptions I've encountered over the years. If anyone has any others (or "facts" they've always wondered about), feel free to comment or send them to me and I'll post it.
Dracoonfly Salmon Candy, another red classic tabby female